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Hey there! Welcome to the Apocalypse’s after party! Today, I’m going to slip you some sick info about making mercenaries for my brand new game. You’re playing mercenaries, or mercs, who take on shitty jobs in return for bullets, food, and other increasingly scarce supplies to survive in a world that has gone to hell. Now, before we move on, I should mention that the Demon Lord Engine powers this game. If you know how to play Shadow of the Demon Lord, you should be good. If you have no clue about Demon Lord (what, pray tell, are you waiting for? Go out and snag a copy! Each copy sold helps feed starving cats!), the game system uses familiar elements so you should be pick up the system without any trouble. OK. We’ll slip into that warm mayonnaise bath later. For now, let’s look at making characters.

Step 1. Attributes

PA uses a set of eight attributes to broadly describe the kinds of shenanigans you might get yourself into. They are Muscles, Meat, Hands, Feet, Brains, Eyes, Mouth, and Guts. Using these should be pretty self-explanatory. You want to lift something heavy? You’re going to use Muscles. You want to run away from Mungalunga chasing you? Feet is your attribute. You want to keep the warlord from cutting off your head before you get a chance to explain what you were doing in her liquor cabinet? Mouth.

Each attribute has a score and a modifier. The attribute score is the target number for rolls made against you and the modifier is the number you add to your d20 roll when you want to do something and it’s not clear if what you want to happen will happen. Scores are numbers between 1 and 20. Modifiers are scores minus 10. If you’re playing it safe, you can use the default scores of 13, 12, 11, 10, 10, 10, and 9. Stick one in each attribute until you’ve placed them all. The game also includes a random method for folks who feel lucky.

(c) 2019 Bad Roll Games19

Step 2. Background

Everyone on your team is going to be a mercenary, but before you start rooting around the wasteland, beating the shit out of gangers, mutants, and V Reichers, you were somebody. The main book includes eight backgrounds such a drifter, ganger, and muscle. Here’s a sample just wait for a kiss from your eyeballs.

You’ll see from the above that your background boosts one of your attributes, gives you some languages (draw them from the languages currently spoken), a talent, and some starting gear. Junk, in this case, is a bit of fun, randomly determined that might give you a quirk, something weird, or something funny (or not). For example, as a starting piece of junk, you might have a stack of porno mags, a DIVX player, a dongle, or a rubber mask of a dead president.

Step 3. Other Stuff

Here you’re going to fill in your character sheet. You start by plugging in your modifiers. Remember, these are the scores minus 10. It’s not hard math. You also have a Defense score, Health score, Grit (use this to heal damage), Education (which gives you access to specialties that reflect the shit you’ve learned to do), Speed, Size, Mutagen (to determine if you get mutations), and Missions (think levels, but sexier).

Step 4. Character Details

This optional section includes a slew of tables to help you flesh out your character. These tables cover age, looks, distinguishing features, and some names (samples include Lips, Hog, Nugget, Crow, and filthier names).

That’s it. Fast and simple. That’s it for this week. Next time, we’ll take a look at the rules.

This August, I’m launching the Kickstarter campaign for a brand new roleplaying game entitled PunkApocalyptic: The RPG based on the miniatures game by Bad Roll Games. This game promises a hardcore, fast past, down and dirty, vulgar descent in to ultra-violence, in which you play mercenaries fighting for bullets in the Wasteland of post-apocalyptic Earth. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be showing off sexy previews of what you can expect from this bad-ass game. Full warning, though. This game is ugly, full of cursing, and a whole hell of a lot of fun to play. Here’s a taste:

The Wasteland

The world as we know it is gone. The why and how of is subject to debate, but there are few left who have the time or ability to wax philosophical about it.  All that’s left is an extremely dangerous place, which, depending upon your point of view, is either a reeking open sewer, a radioactive shithole rife with wasting disease and lingering death, or a desperate place of hunger and want where anyone will trade anything just to survive one more day.

     Actually, your point of view doesn’t matter. It’s all of these things.

      Deadly and violent, much of the world has become a deserted, barren land dotted with the remnants of whatever came before. The Wasteland, as it’s called, though, is not as empty as it might first appear.

     Here live the wretched descendants of the undesirables, the impoverished, the castoffs, and everyone else deemed unsuitable for entry into the great and mythical Megalopoli: fabulous cities built during civilization’s collapse that became more myth than reality to most of the rugged shitkickers trying to scratch out a living in the Wasteland. Unless you’re one of those privileged few living in one of ’em, you’re pretty much fucked and have to figure out some way to survive in some of the worst places you can imagine, alongside all the other poor dumb bastards who will just as soon tear out your throat to get their mitts on your rusty can of beets as give you the time of day. Not that anyone has a working watch or really gives a shit about what time of the day it is. Beets, though? That’s another story.

     But as unpleasant as the world has become, opportunity abounds for anyone with the grit, determination, and moral flexibility to stay alive and maybe even thrive—well, at least by comparison to the other slags around you.

     In the Wasteland, resources are quite scarce. Electricity is nearly nonexistent, and those few who know how to build or even repair complex devices are rarer still. Therefore, just about everything has been reduced to the most of basic items, assembled from whatever can be dug and salvaged out of old landfills, plundered from the ruined cities of the Before Times, or simply robbed from some other weak, stupid bastards.

     Digging out salvage is no easy task as most ruins are overrun with roving gangs, mutant abominations, murderous cannibals, or fanatic disciples with insane beliefs. When you’re offered a few bullets to put an end to a local warlord, fuel to fill up the car you’ve kept running with bubblegum, duct tape, and hope, odds are you won’t have much choice other than to take the job.

     As tough as things are in the Wasteland, one can still find small settlements, often fortified, which somehow manage to survive the neverending hardship. Some outposts serve as commercial hubs, while others represent the best chance for the weak and feeble to survive. Some settlements have greenhouses and water collectors for growing crops and supplying clean water, while many host murderous gangs who trade only in bullets instead of goods and foodstuffs that would actually make life more livable. Go figure.

     Then there are roving hermits who collect odd pieces of useful junk and technology, or bands of mystic nomads in search of some arcane “truth” that often involves blood sacrifice (usually yours or that of your teammates), or the odd religious cult dedicated to bizarre gods of their own invention, bent on forceful conversion of any who they meet (also, usually you and your teammates).

     Anything and everything is possible in the Wasteland and you’re bound to discover something truly strange that would shock even your seriously desensitized and cynical world-view before you punch your ride ticket and call it an end to the miserable fucking life you’ve lived in this world of shit.

(c) 2019 Bad Roll Games